When we went on the tour of Shove Chapel, I was not initially impressed. I had already been inside Shove and had already known some of the history of the building. However, when I really gave it the attention and open mind that I should have given it, I realized that Shove was a sacred place to me. It was a place that was important to people way beyond my time and will continue to be important even after I graduate. What really struck me was when I was looking at the tiles on the floor in the Pilgrim Chapel. I was staring at the title and found that it reminded me of water. I raised this to the group and got what I thought was an “Eh. I don’t really see it, but ok.” kind of response. To me, I found that the tiles symbolized the healing and the wisdom that would pour down from the top of the platform to the masses sitting on the main level. The empty space of the room helped to calm me in some way. I realized that I had made this room a sacred place. I had opened myself to the room in a way that I never thought I would. I went back into my head to think about which one of the 3 ways I had made this place sacred. I have concluded that I had created this place with all 3 of the ways that Lane had been talking about in the article. For the ontological side of things, I had opened my mind to the inherent mystery of the empty room. The big thing that helped ontologically was the fact that I felt that I had touched on something that no one else in the class understood. On the cultural side, I placed meaning in the room by thinking about how my temple back in Los Angeles did services and how I always liked to swim as a kid and that this love of swimming has helped me realize the comfort I get with water. On the phenomenological side of things, I found that the fact that I needed to be there to notice how sacred the place was something that made the experience so much better. In a way, the things that I thought would not make the experience for me really helped turn the experience into something I will probably muse about until I am old.
Photo Credit: http://www.whudat.de/long-exposure-neon-waterfalls-by-sean-lenz-kristoffer-abildgaard-7-pictures/